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Can You Sell Lifestyle and Community Real Estate Photos as Stock Photos?

April 11th, 2017

NeighborHoodRich asks:

Have you written any articles about shooting for stock on lifestyle, community and amenities of a city or neighborhood? I charge by the hour to shoot those things if I don’t have them, but would like to offer “stock” images to Realtors with listings where the images may apply. Wondering how to charge for that.

Offering community photos for the major neighborhoods you shoot in is a great idea. I don’t think most listing agents do a very good job of selling the neighborhood.

To me, it seems like a better approach to use your library of neighborhood photos as another reason for Realtors to choose you as their real estate photographer. Offer 5 or so neighborhood photos for all listings you shoot in certain neighborhoods where you do a lot of shoots. Yes, there have been some real estate photographers that sell these image separately but it is unusual.

An even stronger way to sell the neighborhood is with a short video. As an example here is a Maui lifestyle video that Travis Rowan shot for Tom Tezak. Although this is not something you are going to sell to low-end listing agents but it shows the strength of video for selling the neighborhood or area. The main point here is that selling the neighborhood is key to selling a property and you do it with both stills and video. You need to promote this idea to your clients. Not all listing agents realize how important selling the neighborhood is.

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3 Responses to “Can You Sell Lifestyle and Community Real Estate Photos as Stock Photos?”

  • I have done this and have been doing this for years. I maintain a library of great images of amenities of condo communities and municipal parks, libraries etc.

    Any agent I shoot for has access to those images and may use them but only for properties I photograph. They use them in print as well as on line.

    It has worked well for me to keep them in the fold. One lost agent would cost me more than I could ever make selling “stock” on the open market.

    I think a Library of videos might fit into that but right now I don’t see where videos of amenities and communities are being used by agents. In other words where is the market? No market not worth my time and no value to an agent. Might be wrong though.

  • I started to set my website up so that the customer could buy stock photos but have not finished building it out. Personally, I think it’s a great idea/option and here’s why: In this day and age with agents having so much technology in front of them they might need or more, less or just plain different than what we expect. All the Berkshire Hathaway agents have access to Videolicious as do many other franchise agents. With videolicious they can make their own branded videos so if you have a nice video fly over of a golf course or swath of beach you might sell that over and over to agents who want to use it in their self made videos. As well, agents (yes this really happens) go on vacation and get a call for a listing. All they really want is a stock entrance photo to tide them over until they get back. While it’s a personal choice I think you have decide is getting a nibble of food for work that was previously done better than none. There is a add on in some of the wordpress photo galleries to allow for 1 up or gallery purchases. Why wouldn’t you?

  • I’ve been working on a collection for about a year now and intend on finishing it this summer. My plan was to sell a subscription package to agents and give them access to the files. $99/yr or something like that. Images will contain aerials of local landmarks, condo/retirement community amenities, parks, etc. I felt like $99 is cheap enough for most agents to give it a go, potentially pick up new clients who just want to use the amenities images and a solid way to potentially make a few thousands dollars extra a year.

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